The London/Belfast Alt-Rock Duo REWS Open Up About Their Debut Album, ‘Pyro,’ Biggest Influences and Inspirations and More!
Posted On 28 Feb 2019
Meet the Marshall Records artists, London/Belfast-based alternative rock-pop duo Rews! Their debut album, Pyro is out now under exclusive license to Eleven Seven Label Group.
Rews, featuring Shauna Tohill (vocals/guitar) and Collette Williams (vocals/drums), generated a buzz on the UK and Irish music scene and BBC Radio last year when they opened for Halestorm on a UK tour, and with their own headlining UK tour. The band’s single “Shine” has been a staple on Kerrang! Radio, Planet Rock and Radio X, and has also been played on BBC Radio 1 and Ireland’s most popular commercial radio stations, Today FM and 2FM.
The album’s sound is raw and burgeoning with infectious choruses and deadly distorted riffs. Lead singer/guitarist Shauna Tohill delivers soaring vocals alongside drummer Collette Williams’ bewitching harmonies and thunderous drums, drawing influences from the likes of Grohl and Bonham with pounding toms and a shit-kicking bass drum.
Inspired by life events from the dramatic to the mundane, Pyro covers topics from heartbreak to shady characters and breakfast cereals. Rews have shown insurmountable talent and commitment to developing their unique and inspiring sound. Pyro promises to deliver a musical punch in the face.
Shauna comments, “I find myself incredibly inspired by experiences whether they are things I’ve been through or observing and listening to what other people go through. I want to use our music as my voice and to speak honestly into the world and people’s situations as I feel music really has the ability to do that (and it has done for me!).”
Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, Pyro courses with dynamic energy from start to end. It’s a testament to the duo’s unstoppable drive, belief and passion as they continue to cement themselves as one of the most relentlessly hardworking and exciting new acts to emerge this year.
Pyro purchase and stream link:
Connect With Rews Here:
Learn more about Rews in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day for you both?
Shauna: thank you for having us! The rest of the day for me consists of bus rides, working & out to a gig in London to support my friends band! 🙂
Collette: A busy day of doing drum auditions and then catching up with old friends!
With the new year started, what is one musical goal that you have for your music? How would you say that 2019 treated you overall?
Shauna: One musical goal for me is to aim to write a new song a week, or at least 2 per month. 2019 overall or 2018? 2018 was a crazy busy year with lots of big career and life changes – which are inevitable in life, however, I feel they hindered some of my creativity, this year – I’m turning those changes into all positives & using them to inspire more creativity this year!!
Collette: To become the best player I can in order to know how to compliment the music. I love being free to communicate how I feel through instruments and this year has started off well with me moving to a musically inspirational city- Birmingham!
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this duo together? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far?
Shauna: I remember spending lots of time putting together samples and tracks for us to trial during the first couple of months of Rews. We booked into my friends studio in Seven Sisters & tried it all out, and man, it was sooo awesome and so full of balls, I remember looking at Collette’s face and she was beaming just as much as I felt I was.. it seemed to be the perfect fit in that moment to be a duo. Nothing surprising per ce, it’s been a journey & we’ve got to know each other quite well.
Collette: When I moved to London I was inspired by all the musical opportunities and people I would meet. I experienced the real London industry and it reignited the fire to jam and be creative! Our first jam was really fun and we knew from there it would be a journey!
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
Shauna: My hometown will always be a source of inspiration and influence on me personally and in how I play, sing and write – as it was where my passion for music and life began. Musically, it influences me as N.I has a huge love of rock and alternative music, but also, importantly, there is a beauty and many lessons to be learnt from our past, you can hear them in the (sometimes dark and twisted) stories people share through our Irish traditional music roots. Personally, my hometown influences how I carry myself as it is where I come back to re-ignite my flame if I’m feeling burnt out creatively or emotionally. Being around people who genuinely care about you (and you them) is vital for your wellbeing.
Collette: My hometown is in Northamptonshire. Its roots are in rock and that definitely rubbed off on me. I remember going to skateparks with Blink 182 songs recorded on a dictaphone to play to all my friends! Haha
Let’s talk about your single, “Shine.” What was the inspiration for it? How do you think it sets the tones for the rest of your album? How did you go about choosing it to be the first track released from it?
Shauna: “Shine” was created out of a jam session where we had two separate ideas, they came together to make the music & lyrically, it tells a story that will hopefully inspire people to accept others for who they are no matter what they want and respect what decisions they make in life. We can’t make anyone open up to us, if they want to, they will.
Collette: Yeah Shine is a very rhythmic track born out of beat and riff combo. The breakdown lyrics ‘if you’re a stream don’t let me in cus I need a river to wade through’ were really a message to say if you’re shallow then don’t bother, we want real feels man!!
Shauna: it’s a pretty awesome feeling having released our first ever album! It felt surreal. We celebrated by going on tour!!
Collette: It felt fantastic! It was like a release of built up energy; hence why we named it Pyro!We went on tour to celebrate the album
What was it like recording it at the legendary Abbey Road Studios? Did you feel any kind of pressure?
Shauna: it was an incredible experience and a dream come true. It didn’t feel pressured at all, the team were very welcoming and we knew what kind of sound we were after. It was just nice to have been in the same building as The Beatles and Adele recording our debut!!
Collette: In many ways! I spent my birthday recording at Abbey Road which was a bit of a dream! There was definitely the pressure of all those iconic musicians that had recorded there before us. Big footsteps to follow!
Why did you decide to use Eleven Seven Label Group as the distributor for your music?
Both: It was down to Marshall Records but ultimately, we feel it’s a great fit musically and it’s an awesome team of people who we really believe in, who also believe in us and who we get on well with.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Shauna: I love a mixture of the above, however, I’m happiest when I’m in the writing space creating new music – it’s the exciting potential!
Collette: Personally I love being in front of my instrument regardless to where I am. If there are other people there too enjoying it at the same time then double win!!
Do you have any upcoming shows you would like to tease? How were your recent US shows?
Both: Lot of festivals and stuff that we will announce in due course… keep your peepers on our socials! The US shows were SICK! NAMM, House of Blues & Berlin in NY, all very different gigs but all wonderful in their own ways.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
Shauna: I think being a musician and a songwriter can be a very tough journey as the industry itself can be a gentle yet raging monster. Haha!! But when you have a good team and are up for rolling with the punches, as a creative, you can and do feel very blessed and lucky to be able to create and perform something that seems to be able to connect with people and hopefully gain a new perspective or hope in their lives. And that’s where I stand! Life is journey, art is a road, you gotta take the good with the bad, keep the faith and do what you love, no matter what!
Collette: Most if the joy comes from playing; they say if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
Shauna: Good question. The music probably is somewhat influenced by this time period, however, I wouldn’t say we have actively decided to add our strong political opinions to the creative process and that’s probably because we like to stay generally neutral unless there is something we both are very passionate about as a team. I’m not sure about other musicians, it does seem that some people are and others want to avoid it – I heard a song about Brexit the other day by a local metal band. Feeling inspired now…
Collette: Politics like religion will always be a strong talking point and people will always have opinions. Our music is never really directly political, more so a social healer to act as a palette cleanser or method of escapism during these crazy times.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
Both: We’d love to work with Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Tori Amos, St. Vincent & Chino from the Deftones, Travis Barker and Lady Gaga. We could create a crazy mixture of high octane rock, sick beats, beautiful dynamics and some off the wall artistic and pop flavours. Probably a collaboration with Skrillex… why not? He’s class!
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
Shauna: Probably a big guitar-ukulele invention?? Cause it could be played like a guitar but no matter what you played, it would bring sheer happiness as ukuleles never sound sad and it’s hollow wood so could tap on it aswell for beats. It would be hard to be stranded on an island…
Collette: Spoons. Play them, use them to eat, hang them off your nose to make your stranded friend laugh.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Both: We hope that the Rews message would be that there is an option to get out of any negative situation in your life – that you can love yourself exactly for who you are, love (or at least accept) others for exactly who they are and feel free to be yourself always… and express yourself. It should also give others a hope that they can find likeminded people who identify with them.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about your music?
Both: We hope you love it and it brings joy to you!!